CNZ/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence 2009–10

Scottish Musician appointed Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music 2009-10

Scottish born composer and jazz musician John Rae, has been appointed the prestigious Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music 2009-10.

The year long residency offers the composer the opportunity to pursue creative activities and is hosted by the School of Music which is part of Wellington’s Victoria University.

“It’s pleasing to see such an experienced composer writing for non-classical forces being awarded the Composer-in-Residence,” says Michael Norris, Programme Leader for Composition at the New Zealand School of Music. “Although John was largely unknown to the selection panel, we were blown away by the sophistication of his pieces that stretch and redefine the boundaries of conventional jazz idioms. It is particularly exciting given the new synergies between jazz and classical traditions that are becoming a fertile ground for exploration for both staff and students at the New Zealand School of Music.”

John, who grew up in Livingston and Edinburgh, Scotland has been actively searching for a way to compose and play music in a stimulating environment in New Zealand since moving to New Zealand in 2005. He and his New Zealand wife and family have been living in Napier for the past 4 years.

“I am absolutely delighted to have received this wonderful opportunity and intend to give it my absolute best” said John. “I have been composing music since I was 16 years old and have played, improvised and composed music with some of the most creative contemporary jazz musicians in the world. This is a golden chance to give all my attention to writing music and extending myself musically” .

“Living in a smaller regional city has been very interesting, and now I am looking forward to moving to a larger city , especially Wellington that has such a strong music culture. The last couple of years I have had to do a lot of travelling and teaching in order to continuing to write and play full time the music I love…Jazz” he said.

“I have never let go the determination to be a full-time composer/musician and educator here in New Zealand. The Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence gives me that breathing space to create and will I hope lead to bigger and better things for me here in New Zealand and internationally”.

John intends to concentrate on writing for orchestral groups of varying sizes, and to develop his passion for cross cultural music. “I also want to do some writing for dance and work with choreographers using the same philosophy. I want to integrate the various influences here in New Zealand in order to produce something unique and original that could only be done here” he said.

The residency is jointly funded by Creative New Zealand and private sponsor Jack C. Richards. John will relocate to Wellington in late June 2009, where he will be resident at the former home of composer Douglas Lilburn

For more information contact , ph. (04) 463 7456